A Playbook for Tackling Workers’ Comp in Professional Sports


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It’s one thing when a shelf stocker slips at work and injures her back. It’s another thing entirely when a professional athlete blows a knee on the football field. Our guest this week is Jonathan Israel, senior partner at the Jacksonville, Florida, law firm RITE where he represents professional athletes in Workers’ Comp cases.

Things get interesting when a case involves an athlete making millions of dollars. Even in a case of “maximum medical improvement” a player at the highest level may never return to the field, and it would be hard to match his or her former income in another line of work. How are benefits calculated? What happens when stars want to see their own doctor rather than the doctors the team is familiar with? Then there are issues of jurisdiction if a player is hurt on a road game and issues regarding a player’s status as a seasonal employee since games aren’t played year-round.

When representing today’s highly paid sports stars, even issues of depositions that might become public or concerns about countersuits for a motion to tax costs become elevated. Dig into a fascinating look into a unique corner of the Workers’ Comp world.

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